Mart (72) and Anne-Marie (69) no longer go to Italy for four weeks: too much, too expensive with a state pension and a small pension. They are now in camp in Ace DVHN Holiday Survey

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How do people go on vacation now that vacations are getting more expensive? Mart and Annemarie van Duygen of Wassenaar traded holidays to Italy and Austria for camping in their own country.

previously. yes before. Then Mart and Anne-Marie van Duygen of Wassenaar (“a terraced house, you know!”) went with the caravan to Italy or Austria for four weeks. He had his own painting company and they could afford it quite well. But what do you think about how much vacation money you get with AOW? Five hundred euros! You can’t go to Italy for that. Then I lost a few thousand euros,” says Mart, while enjoying a cup of coffee in front of his caravan at the De Zeven Heuveltjes camp in Ess.

One tank is enough

“Just take the petrol. It’s very expensive and will get even more expensive again on July 1. We now only use the car to get to the campsite and do everything else by bike, unless the weather is bad. One tank is enough for all this holiday.”

Mart and Annemarie live on an AOW of about €900 per person, with a small pension on top of that. “Just enough dress,” says Anne-Marie. Disability insurance was already so expensive for Mart as a freelance illustrator that a higher pension was not possible. , then you think you will grow up nice and warm, but in terms of money you will sink a lot. But hey, we’ll make something out of it. We had a great time together, we have been married for 50 years this year and we are doing very well. What do you want too?”

Just zapping

It is fair to say that it is not because of the money that they exchanged southern Europe for Holland. Now that they are a day older, they no longer feel like traveling far. Imagine that something happened to one of them. Are they all there, in a foreign country, with their families far away. And then they often ended up in these traffic jams … No, they think it’s good to stay in their country now. They’ve been doing it this way for a few years.

And it doesn’t have to be expensive. We’ve got this thing,” Anne-Marie points to their convoy. “We just lost money.”

They love it in Ece, right at the edge of the forest. Compliment the nice and friendly people at the camp, the clean sanitation facilities and the beautiful nature, as they commute a lot on their e-bikes. De Zeven Heuveltjes is not the first camping site they have settled on. Their camping holiday began at Overijssel and after Drenthe, where they spent thirteen nights, it was de Villoi’s turn. They are especially looking forward to it, because their granddaughter – and maybe even grandson – will come to stay for a few nights.

Five weeks in three camps

In total, the couple was away for five weeks at three different campsites. They have an ACSI card, which gives them a discount in low season. In Ess they pay about 20 euros per night.

“The campsite is a little more expensive than last year, but that makes sense given the higher energy prices,” says Marte. A pass system for showers has been in place since this year. “There’s 10 euros on that. If it runs out, you have to pay extra. A very fair system. We’ve been coming here for the fourth year now, and sometimes we see people showering three or four times a day. That’s over now.” Anne-Marie shook her head. “You don’t do that at home, do you?”

The fact that holidays are becoming more expensive is no reason why Mart and Anne-Marie should not go. They place a lot of value on their “going” for the sake of it. Nice and cozy, home away from home, nothing to do. Other than that, I spend all day cleaning and tidying, says Anne-Marie. They don’t have to be so frugal the rest of the year to be able to afford this vacation. They do not live lavishly and continue this lifestyle at the campsite.

Trays of food in the freezer

Anne Marie has several containers of homemade spaghetti sauce in her freezer, which she brought from home. They usually find that dining out is a waste of money. Mart gives an example: they dined in a Greek restaurant with their daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren (the youngest is 6 years old). They managed to cash out almost 300 euros. Anyway, it was Anne-Marie’s birthday. Then it may be once.

Anne Marie cites another example. If they were sitting on a balcony with the family, they had to pay 55 euros for three beers, apple juice, a cola and a portion of bitterballen. Then my son-in-law said: We have beer at home, right? Yes you will. Because with another round we would have lost 110 euros! ”

Comfortable around the grill

Nor do they think that eating in their caravan almost every day is a punishment for them. on the contrary. They sit comfortably around the grill to fry meat. “You can make the most delicious things at camp. When our son-in-law is behind the barbecue, well, you really don’t want to go to a restaurant anymore!”

In terms of groceries, they may be cheaper than those at home. “Things like butchering are cheaper here than in the West,” says Mart. , do you know what it is? Ann Marie adds. “The older you get, the less you eat. Then it’s totally a shame to go out to dinner. There’s so much left over… I also think it’s a matter of taking it in containers.”

And further? Are they still spending money on other things, besides groceries and groceries? Well, not actually. They have not yet taken any paid trips and they are not planned either. We don’t go to museums or anything like that. We’re not that culture,” says Anne-Marie. They enjoy cycling and then take coffee and sandwiches with them in their bike bag. “You see everyone sitting at the picnic table along the way. Super fun!” says Mart. “And sometimes I jump into the pool here at the campsite. That’s enough for me.”


Accommodation: €865 (5 weeks accommodation money for camping with a caravan at 3 campsites)

Groceries: 700 euros

Eating outside / terraces: 200 euros

Transportation: 100 euros


Total: 1865 euros (without groceries 1165 euros)

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